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Known as lady bugs, Asian lady beetles or Harmonia axyridis, these voracious little insects are a beneficial part of the organic garden. Ladybugs can significantly reduce the presence of aphids, mite and scale insects--- and help eliminate the need for insecticides in your yard. An adult ladybug can eat 50 aphids a day.

Common in many Asian countries, we find them in several color combinations including black, red and orange. Ladybug gifts include items from clothing to decor.

In winter, one may find clusters of ladybugs massed against the southern or southwest facing side of a light colored building. Ladybugs are harmless and will move on when the weather warms in spring. Ladybug homes can be purchased if a more appropriate location is desired for over-wintering.

Ladybugs are found in yards and garden shops across America. If you wish to enhance the benefits of ladybugs in your yard, net bags of the insects can be purchased from garden stores. For the adventurous, one can grow their own ladybugs from purchased ladybug habitat kits.

It is not uncommon to release 1500 ladybugs to find they have "disappeared" a day later. Tricks for keeping ladybugs in your garden include refrigeration (NOT freezing) until release time, releasing the insects during a still, cool evening, spraying sugar water on their wings at release time, and releasing the insects in small batches while storing the remaining ladybugs in the refrigerator. Ladybugs can remain in refrigeration for up to two weeks. It is common to include a raisin or two with them, for food.

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